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De la couleur des lois Cover

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De la couleur des lois

Une histoire juridique du racisme au Canada entre 1900 et 1950

Constance Backhouse

Malgré l’ouverture proclamée des Canadiens face à la diversité ethnique et culturelle, l’histoire canadienne n’en est pas moins marquée par la discrimination systématique. Cet ouvrage expose la ténacité juridique de cette discrimination par l’entremise d’un examen de six arrêts judiciaires déterminants entre 1900 et 1950 qui démontrent comment le système juridique canadien fut complice de la discrimination raciale. Les cas retenus font exemples des diverses façons dont le racisme a opéré dans les différents environnements juridiques du Canada. On y retrouve ceux d’Eliza Sero, qui a présenté en 1921 une revendication à la souveraineté Mohawk, de Wanduta, un Heyoka de la nation Dakota, qui visait à faire reconnaître son droit de célébrer la traditionnelle danse des herbes sacrées en 1903, d’Ira Johnson, qui a eu à subir le courroux du Ku Klux Klan en raison de son désir de contracter un mariage mixte en 1930, de Yee Clun, un restaurateur canadien d’origine chinoise à qui l’on avait refusé le droit d’employer des femmes blanches en 1924 et de Viola Desmond, qui avait été empêchée par le personnel d’un cinéma de s’asseoir dans une section réservée aux Blancs en 1946. De la couleur des lois illustre l’ambiguïté opérationnelle ainsi que l’étonnante et sournoise persévérance du racisme à l’oeuvre dans le système juridique canadien. De la couleur des lois est la traduction française de Colour-Coded: A Legal History of Racism in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1999), qui a été gagnant du prix Joseph Brant en 2002.

Defending a Contested Ideal Cover

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Defending a Contested Ideal

Merit and the Public Service Commission, 1908–2008

Luc Juillet and Ken Rasmussen

In 1908, after decades of struggling with a public administration undermined by systemic patronage, the Canadian parliament decided that public servants would be selected on the basis of merit, through a system administered by an independent agency: the Public Service Commission of Canada. This history, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Commission, recounts its unique contribution to the development of an independent public service, which has become a pillar of Canadian parliamentary democracy.

The Dominion of Youth Cover

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The Dominion of Youth

Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950

Adolescence, like childhood, is more than a biologically defined life stage: it is also a sociohistorical construction. The meaning and experience of adolescence are reformulated according to societal needs, evolving scientific precepts, and national aspirations relative to historic conditions. Although adolescence was by no means a “discovery” of the early twentieth century, it did assume an identifiably modern form during the years between the Great War and 1950.

The Dominion of Youth: Adolescence and the Making of Modern Canada, 1920 to 1950 captures what it meant for young Canadians to inhabit this liminal stage of life within the context of a young nation caught up in the self-formation and historic transformation that would make modern Canada. Because the young at this time were seen paradoxically as both the hope of the nation and the source of its possible degeneration, new policies and institutions were developed to deal with the “problem of youth.” This history considers how young Canadians made the transition to adulthood during a period that was “developmental”—both for youth and for a nation also working toward individuation. During the years considered here, those who occupied this “dominion” of youth would see their experiences more clearly demarcated by generation and culture than ever before. With this book, Cynthia Comacchio offers the first detailed study of adolescence in early-twentieth-century Canada and demonstrates how young Canadians of the period became the nation’s first modern teenagers.

Endgame 1758 Cover

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Endgame 1758

The Promise, the Glory, and the Despair of Louisbourg's Last Decade

A. J. B. Johnston

The story of what happened at the colonial fortified town of Louisbourg between 1749 and 1758 is one of the great dramas of the history of Canada, indeed North America. The French stronghold on Cape Breton Island, strategically situated near the entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was from soon after its founding  a major possession in the quest for empire. The dramatic military and social history of this short-lived and significant fortress, seaport, and community, and the citizens who  made it their home, are woven together in A. J. B. Johnston’s gripping biography of the colony’s final decade, presented from both French and British perspectives.
 
Endgame 1758 is a tale of two empires in collision on the shores of mid-eighteenth-century Atlantic Canada, where rival European visions of predominance clashed headlong with each other and with the region’s Aboriginal peoples. The magnitude of the struggle and of its uncertain outcome colored the lives of Louisbourg’s inhabitants and the nearly thirty thousand combatants arrayed against it. The entire history comes to life in a tale of what turned out to be  the first major British victory in the Seven Years’ War. How and why the French colony ended the way it did, not just in June and July 1758, but over the decade that preceded the siege, is a little-known and compelling story.

Entre lieux et mémoire Cover

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Entre lieux et mémoire

L'inscription de la francophonie canadienne dans la durée

Sous la direction de Anne Gilbert, Michel Bock et Joseph Yvon Thériault

Dans Les lieux de mémoire, Pierre Nora affirme que « la mémoire s'enracine dans le concret, l'espace, le geste, l'image et l'objet » (1984, xix). Entre lieux et mémoire adopte une perspective semblable et jette un regard sur les expériences concrètes, géographiquement situées, par lesquelles les francophones du Canada construisent leur identité à partir des réminiscences de leur passé. Ce questionnement est essentiel, car la géographie de la francophonie canadienne évolue rapidement, consolidée au Québec au cours notamment des dernières cinquante années, mais fragilisée dans les milieux les plus dynamiques de la francophonie hors Québec, là où les francophones se confrontent quotidiennement à l'Autre : anglophone, immigrant et allophone. Dans ces lieux consolidés et fluides se tissent les appartenances et les identités de ceux qui les occupent. Les auteurs abordent les lieux de mémoire du Canada français selon trois approches : l'histoire, la géographie et les arts. Tous mettent en évidence que la fondation d'un lieu de mémoire est un acte politique. Enfin, ils montrent qu'une étude des lieux de mémoire, par l'entremise des individus et des groupes qui les instituent, constitue un préalable à la compréhension de l'identité francophone canadienne, dans son unité comme dans sa diversité.

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Finding Kluskap

A Journey into Mi'kmaw Myth

By Jennifer Reid

The Mi’kmaq of eastern Canada were among the first indigenous North Americans to encounter colonial Europeans. As early as the mid-sixteenth century, they were trading with French fishers, and by the mid-seventeenth century, large numbers of Mi’kmaq had converted to Catholicism. Mi’kmaw Catholicism is perhaps best exemplified by the community’s regard for the figure of Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. Every year for a week, coinciding with the saint’s feast day of July 26, Mi’kmaw peoples from communities throughout Quebec and eastern Canada gather on the small island, Potlotek, off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is, however, far from a conventional Catholic celebration. In fact, it expresses a complex relationship between the Mi’kmaq, a cultural hero named Kluskap, a series of eighteenth-century treaties, and Saint Anne. Finding Kluskap brings together years of historical research and learning among Mi’kmaw peoples on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The author’s long-term relationship with Mi’kmaw friends and colleagues provides a unique vantage point for scholarship, one shaped by not only personal relationships, but by the cultural, intellectual, and historical situations that inform postcolonial peoples. The picture that emerges when Kluskap, Saint Anne, and the mission are considered in concert with one another is one of the sacred life as a site of adjudication for both the meaning and efficacy of religion, and the impact of modern history on contemporary indigenous religion.

First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life Cover

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First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life

The Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia

Simone Poliandri

Issues of identity figure prominently in Native North American communities, mediating their histories, traditions, culture, and status. This is certainly true of the Mi’kmaw people of Nova Scotia, whose lives on reserves create highly complex economic, social, political, and spiritual realities. This ethnography investigates identity construction and negotiations among the Mi’kmaq, as well as the role of identity dynamics in Mi’kmaw social relationships on and off the reserve. Featuring direct testimonies from over sixty individuals, this work offers a vivid firsthand perspective on contemporary Mi’kmaw reserve life.

Simone Poliandri begins First Nations, Identity, and Reserve Life with a search for the criteria used by the Mi’kmaq to construct their identities, which are traced within the context of their different perceptions of community, tradition, spirituality, relationship with the Catholic Church, and the recent reevaluation of the iconic figure of late activist Annie Mae Aquash. Building on the notions of self-identification and ascribed identity as the primary components of identity, Poliandri argues that placing others at specific locations within the social landscape of their communities allows the Mi’kmaq to define and reinforce their own spaces by way of association, contrast, or both. This identification of others highlights Mi’kmaw people’s agency in shaping and monitoring the representations of their identities. With its theoretical insights, this richly textured ethnography will enhance understanding of identity dynamics among Indigenous communities even as it illuminates the unique nature of the Mi’kmaw people.

The Forgotten Peace Cover

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The Forgotten Peace

Mediation at Niagara Falls

Michael Small

In the early hours of April 22, 1914, American President Woodrow Wilson sent Marines to seize the port of Veracruz in an attempt to alter the course of the Mexican Revolution. As a result, the United States seemed on the brink of war with Mexico. An international uproar ensued. The governments of Argentina, Brazil, and Chile offered to mediate a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Surprisingly, both the United States and Mexico accepted their offer and all parties agreed to meet at an international peace conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For Canadians, the conference provided an unexpected spectacle on their doorstep, combining high diplomacy and low intrigue around the gardens and cataracts of Canada's most famous natural attraction. For the diplomats involved, it proved to be an ephemeral high point in the nascent pan-American movement. After it ended, the conference dropped out of historical memory. This is the first full account of the Niagara Falls Peace Conference to be published in North America since 1914. The author carefully reconstructs what happened at Niagara Falls, examining its historical significance for Canada's relationship with the Americas. From this almost forgotten event he draws important lessons on the conduct of international mediation and the perils of middle-power diplomacy.

Freedom to Play Cover

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Freedom to Play

We Made Our Own Fun

“When we were children we made our own fun” is a frequent comment from those who were children in pre-television times. But what games, activities and amusements did children enjoy prior to the mid-1950s?

Recollections of older Canadians, selections from writings by Canadian authors and letters written to the children’s pages of agricultural publications indicate that for most children play was then, as now, an essential part of childhood. Through play, youngsters developed the physical, mental and emotional skills that helped them cope with life and taught them to get along with other children.

In both rural and urban settings, children were generally free to explore their environment. They were sent outdoors to play by both parents and teachers. Their games were generally self-organized and physically active, with domestic animals acting as important companions and playmates. Children frequently made their own toys and equipment, and, since playing rather than winning was important, most children were included in games. Special days, holidays and organizations for children and youth provided welcome breaks from daily routines. Their lives were busy, but there was always time for play, always time for fun.

Norah Lewis has provided an entertaining view of the toys, games and activities in Canada and pre-confederate Newfoundland from approximately 1900 through 1955. Her book will be of interest to historians, educators and sociologists, as well as anyone who lived through, or wants to know more about,those early years in Canada, and the games children used to play.

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